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pp 1–3 | Cite as

Academic Experts and the Enterprising University

Ethan Schrum, The Instrumental University: Higher Education in Service of the National Agenda after World War II. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2019. 312 pp. $47.95. ISBN: 978-1501736643 Roger L. Geiger, American Higher Education Since World War II: A History. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2019. 400 pp. $35.00. ISBN: 978-0691179728
  • John R. ThelinEmail author
Review Essay

Two new important books coincide to provide fresh accounts of the transformation of higher education in the United States following World War II. The topic represents a fusion of American social history and the history of academic institutions. For example, in Hollywood the 1947 Oscar for outstanding movie was The Best Years of Our Lives. Whereas the movie referred to the post war readjustment of four military veterans, it also could have been an apt description of events and innovations at American colleges and universities over the next twenty-five years. Indeed, historians have referred to the quarter century from 1945 to 1970 as “Higher Education’s Golden Age.”1

Despite these great expectations, the ledger sheet over seventy-five years is complicated, as shown respectively in the recent books by Schrum and Geiger. Ethan Schrum ‘s The Instrumental Universitydissects an important, understudied unit that blossomed between 1945 and 1970 – the university based “Organized Research...

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.History of Higher Education & Public PolicyUniversity of KentuckyLexingtonUSA

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